Sunday, 19 February 2017

Maintenance Update (gadget, injector, felt, bracket)

Wednesday 15th
John T began the day by gluing insulation around the cylinder blocks. There are two layers, here, held in place temporarily using spray-on glue. John G and Gilbert subsequently assisted John T to get the cladding pieces fitted back on over the insulation. It looks easy enough, but lining up the bolt holes and persuading the bolts to go in straight is a challenge. Particularly fun are the bolts underneath! Gil (on his new pills) volunteered to crawl under the cylinders and fit those! After the large piece that wraps round the cylinder block, there are several small pieces to cover each end.

Gil fitted the timing gadget onto the two cylinder valves in readiness for David to play with the timing. I have a horrible suspicion that that involves pushing the loco up & down a bit! As the valve moves, a needle attached to the end of the valve rod slides two sleeves apart, thus marking the end positions of travel. I’m intrigued as to what happens then!

Bruce refitted the insides of the two injectors. A generous wrapping of PTFE is necessary round the end covers otherwise these tend to leak during use. It is critical to have two working injectors because of having to guarantee to maintain a sufficient water level in the boiler. If there was only one and it failed, you would be in deep do-dos.

Bruce & Gil examined the options and sizes for making a bracket to support the brake column. Amazingly, they couldn’t find a suitable bit of metal from which to construct the bracket.

As the weather forecast was dry in the morning and rain arriving at lunchtime, I began needle-gunning chairs, trying to build up stocks of boot scrapers for the beginning of the season. I managed five before rain did stop play. John G applied a top coat to the 6 in the production line after lunch, snugly tucked away in the warmth of the van!

After lunch I fitted the Mason’s Valve back in the cab (with assistance from Bruce); connected up the condensing coil, and then cleaned the sight glasses in the hydrostatic lubricator.

I was tempted to set you a quiz: How many of these components in the cab do you know? No prizes
for getting them all right.

Saturday 18th
On Friday I had an order for a boot scraper, so it was my first job to complete the lettering; fit
brushes and box up. After tea break, I spent the entire day inside the firebox.

Most of the stays are copper and are riveted over. Some are monel metal, which is a nickel alloy that is resistant to corrosion. These have nuts on the end. Those nuts that are in the fire bed, or close to it, can burn away in the intense heat. My job today was to clean these nuts by wire brush and then apply a heat-resistant (to 750°) paint.

The grate was not very clean of ash & clinker; the sides were covered in sooty deposits, and it is a tad cramped in there, especially down at the front end.

Gilbert started to fit one of the running boards and discovered how awkward (and heavy) they are!
Paul G [Loco dept] gave him a hand. Paul’s reward was two chocky biscuits plus a cup of tea.

John T finished fitting insulation around the cylinder blocks and refitted smaller cladding pieces.
Only the valve covers remain to be tackled - when the timing measurements are completed. John
then moved on to the brake column. He hoovered out the bottom of the box area and refitted the
top plate.

Gilbert subsequently got in John’s way, and then Bruce’s way; but he did fetch me a 100V lamp so that I could see what I was doing inside the firebox!

Gil, John and Bruce all had a play with the handbrake column, trying to work out how best to gain access to weld on a securing bracket. There are three metal discs and a bearing in the middle. The centre disc is the one to which we intend to weld the bracket. It would be nice if we could take it apart, but the handle is secured with a tapered pin which doesn’t look as though it wants to come out!

At the very least, it now needs some new nuts & bolts to hold them together!

Bruce spent much of the day making new felts for the piston rod lubricators.

He found a tin of almost the exact same diameter as the rods, which makes it handy for cutting out felt. The top felts have curved lower surfaces to fit round the rods. They are held in position by a metal cover.

The lower felt is just a strip that fits inside the bottom part. Here you can see the felts sitting in oil over lunchtime ready for fitting in the afternoon. As you can see, Bruce made two new top felts and only one for the bottom.

We didn’t get as much done as we had hoped, but every little bit is progress. We have to be available for service in 12 days time … that’s only three working days for the team.


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